Russia blacklists 8 EU officials in retaliation for sanctions | News from the European Union

The EU condemns the Moscow tit-for-tat measures and declares that it reserves the right “to take appropriate measures in response”.

Russia has blacklisted eight officials from European Union countries, preventing them from entering the country in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the bloc.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that those banned included Vera Jourova, vice president for values ​​and transparency at the European executive commission; David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament; and Jacques Maire, member of the French delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

“The European Union continues to pursue its policy of illegitimate and unilateral restrictive measures against Russian citizens and organizations,” the ministry said in a statement.

He accused the bloc of “openly and deliberately” undermining the independence of Russia’s domestic and foreign policy.

“All of our proposals to settle the problems between Russia and the EU through direct professional dialogue have been systematically ignored or rejected,” the ministry added.

Reacting to the news, Sassoli said the move would not prevent him or European lawmakers “from standing up for human rights, freedom and democracy”.

“Apparently I’m not welcome in the Kremlin?” I had suspected a little… ”, he wrote on Twitter.

“The threats will not silence us,” Sassoli said.

In a separate joint statement, Sassoli, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council Head Charles Michel said they condemned Russia’s “unacceptable” action in “the strongest possible terms” and said it shows that Moscow has chosen the path of confrontation with the bloc. .

“The EU reserves the right to take appropriate action in response to the decision of the Russian authorities,” they said.

Others banned by Russia

Russia has also banned three officials from the Baltic states: Ivars Abolins, chairman of the National Council for Electronic Media of Latvia; Maris Baltins, director of the Latvian State Language Center; and Ilmar Tomusk, Head of the Estonian Languages ​​Inspectorate.

Also blacklisted were Jorg Raupach, Berlin prosecutor, and Asa Scott of the Swedish Defense Research Agency.

Scott was among those officials who said Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was poisoned in Russia last year with a Soviet-era nerve agent.

Navalny recovered from poisoning in Germany and was arrested upon his return to Russia in January. The Kremlin spokesman was sentenced the following month to two and a half years in prison for parole violations following an earlier conviction for embezzlement which he said was politically motivated.

The EU imposed sanctions in March on two Russians accused of persecuting gays and lesbians in the southern Russian region of Chechnya.

Last month, the bloc also imposed sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin.

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